A Good Friend Indeed!
It’s a Valentine’s Day Dr. Michael Steinitz will probably not soon forget.
Standing in a crowd of faculty and staff gathered for a cross-campus social event, the StFX physics professor
learned he’d been chosen as this year’s Good Friendship Award recipient.
“I was surprised, somewhat embarrassed, and very humbled,” a modest Dr. Steinitz said in the days after receiving the honour.
The award, now in its second year, is designed to recognize outreach efforts of individuals on campus, particularly those who give beyond what’s expected.
Dr. Steinitz has certainly been active in his 33 years at StFX. He helped found Debut Atlantic 27 years ago, and has run the StFX Performing Arts Series for the
past 29 years.
He and his wife Heidi, StFX’s former international student advisor and financial aid officer, have been true friends to the school’s international student population.
Heidi’s work association brought the couple close to students with financial and other problems. Some received forms of help, while others have lived with the Steinitz family for various lengths of time. “They enriched our lives immeasurably, and we got an immense amount out of the relationships and friendships that we formed, that have lasted for many, many years,” he says.
For the past 20 years he’s also offered his house for StFX’s Student Physics Society barbecues, held every Wednesday in the summer for students and faculty doing
research on campus. The barbecues are held alternately on the back decks of (StFX physics professor) Doug Hunter’s house and Dr. Steinitz’s house.
The bear was the award and, as you can see, has a prominent place in my office, where distressed students can clutch him as needed.
He is holding a World Year of Physics official Coffee Mug and is wearing his "Ally" button.